• Squeezer - Joy Jell Fantasies Play all

    Want a fresh, bubbling mix of a variety of rock 'n' roll influences on vinyl? Leave it to Squeezer, an four-piece combination of then-young and supreme talents from the breath-taking blue skies of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Their only album, Joy Jell Fantasies, was released in early 1974 on Art Laboe and Brian Ross's then-new Now label (a secondary imprint of Original Sound intended for releasing new albums instead of compilations consisted of previously-released material) and is indeed a spectacular album that never loses even a teeny-weeny bit of its freshness every time you listen to it.

    I first happened upon Squeezer via somebody's video of a mispressed copy of Kiss's self-titled debut album which had side 2 of Joy Jell Fantasies instead of the proper side 2 of the Kiss album. I didn't know who the artist was when I first saw the video, so I decided to do some deeper research. This research lead me to the discovery of Squeezer, and a spectacular discovery too. Due to its obscurity (it has never been reissued on CD at all!), Joy Jell Fantasies has considerably been hard to find on vinyl, but over the past little while, I have seen several sealed copies showing up for sale on various sites including eBay, Discogs and the like, which probably means that some lucky soul found an old distribution warehouse in Hollywood filled with unsold copies of the album. This was one of them.

    Unfortunately, the majority of these sealed copies can only be found in the West Coast of the USA, and we know shipping times from Western states to be really slow. Also, the prices for the album on eBay are not the best (usually in the range of $15-$30). But, as luck would have it, I found a copy on Discogs in Pennsylvania, and the price was right (only $5)!

    People, you better sit back, put on your headphones, cause I've posted the whole album for your enjoyment! None of the tracks on side one are anywhere else on YouTube, so this is an exclusive premiere... I hope you'll like this album as much as I do! Don't forget to stay tuned to my blog (http://ryansvinylemporium.blogspot.com/) for a review of Joy Jell Fantasies!
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  • Ananta - Night and Daydream Play all

    Another ISKCON (aka the "Hare Krishna Guys") music production, and a very good one, too.

    Venezuelan singer and keyboardist Ilan Chester was born in Jaffa, Isarel and raised in Venezuela. He had a wide variety of musical influences, and these influences are what makes his multipule talents in his music.

    In 1978, he formed the prog/fusion band Ananta in England with the Spiteri brothers (who were natives from Venezuela), Patrick Bernard, Mark Francis, and Dave Early. Patrick Bernard believed in Krishna conconciousness, so I guess he thought about putting spiritual themes in Ananta's lyrics. And they did!

    They released a second album in 1980 titled "Songs from the Future", but the lineup was drastically different on that one. On that album, Ilan Chester was backed with two former members of Aditus (Alvaro Falcon and Luis E. Mari), and Gerry Lopez. They didn't earn much success, so their career was very brief (only 2 years active).

    "Night and Daydream" was also released in the USA on Govinda Records, with the exact same tracklisting, but a different cover and title: "Wheel of Time".
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  • Mark Dee - All in a Day's Work Play all

    Mark Dee (born Mark Douglas Olivierre) is an awesome rapper hailing out of New York. At the time, he was 18 years old, and this is the only album he did for MCA Records back in 1990. In my opinion, it's friggin' awesome. In fact, I think it's out of print today, and I got my copy in the thrift shop. This album is considerably rare to find on vinyl and cassette (the cassette version is the rarest of all), because the CD was a very prominent format back then. He would later change his stage name to Minnesota Slimz and become a member of underground hip-hop group Soul Kid Klik.

    Nowadays, Minnesota Slimz has changed his name again. This time, he's known as "M.A.R.K.". As you can clearly see, he's been in and out of the hip-hop scene for such a long time. He has incredible talent as both a rapper and a lyricist.

    Did you know that Mark Dee starred as a guest rap vocalist in Marc Nelson's 1991 version of Marvin Gaye's "I Want You"? That's absolutely true.
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